As It Began

When Snape is sent to deliver Harry's Hogwarts letter on his 11th birthday, will he still be able to hate Harry after meeting the Dursleys? Harry is a first year at Hogwarts. HP & SS No slash!


4. Chapter 4

“So, Harry, can you tell me how those hair-drying-tubes work?”

    Harry never would have envisioned himself explaining the concept of hair dryers to someone who can do magic with the flick of a wand. Nevertheless, he tried to answer Mr. Weasley’s curiosity to the best of his ability.

    “Well, they run on electricity-”

    “Oh, that’s how you pronounce it,” Mr. Weasley said, half to himself.

    “-and somehow blow hot air out the end. I’m not quite sure how that happens; something to do with a fan?” Harry guessed.

    “A fan? Does that run on eklectricity too?” the older man asked eagerly.

    “Now, Arthur, let the poor child eat his breakfast in peace,” Mrs. Weasley spoke up.

    Harry gave her a grateful smile and started on his now cold potatoes.

    “Sorry, Molly.”

    The twins brought a welcome distraction as they came skidding into the room, much more awake than Harry expected. After they piled food on their plates, Fred spoke up.

    “We’ve got a fun day planned Harry!” he said excitedly.

    “Er, great,” he responded, unsure as to whether letting the twins plan anything was a good idea.

    “Nah, don’t worry about it, you’ll have a blast!” George spoke up.

    “Or something is going to blast anyway...” Fred muttered. A quick glance at his mother affirmed that she did not hear. That was probably a good thing. Ron and Ginny had already finished breakfast, so Harry went to join Ron once he cleared his second helping to satisfy Mrs. Weasley. He had gotten out his wizard chess set and was teaching Harry how to play.

    “Hey, Ron? Can I ask you something?” Harry asked tentatively.

    “Sure, have at it.”

    “What house do you think you’ll be in?” 

    “Gryffindor probably,” he replied casually, “That’s what the reset of my family has been in.” 

    “Is that how it picks?” Harry inquired.

    “Nah, its more about your qualities, but sometimes those run in the family. Especially with Slytherins, I think,” Ron said.

    “AH!” Harry exclaimed as Ron’s knight bashed one of Harry’s pawns to pieces with its marble sword. “What was that?” 

    “Wizard chess!” Ron doubled over in laughter. “You should’ve seen your face!”

    Harry scowled, then put another of his pieces in harm’s way just to see it happen again. Soon, the game turned from chess to a fighting match with Ron and Harry each cheering their respective sides on. The conversation about Hogwarts was quickly forgotten.

    “Ah, you see this, George?” Fred said proudly.

    “Aye, I do, Fred. Our little brother has finally learned how to play a real game,” George agreed.

    “Thanks, Harry,” Fred said, “You brought out the side of Ron that George and I have on all the time.” He winked. 

    “Now you want to go play a real real game?”






    “Just kick up off the ground,” the twins encouraged.

    Nervously, Harry steeled his nerves and got ready to try. He had been given a broom just moments before and was now receiving an impromptu flying lesson from all of the Weasley children but Percy. 

    “But, I’ve never done this before!” he repeated again. “I thought witches on brooms was just a story up until now!”

    “Never heard anything about wizards, eh?” Ron grumbled.

    “Come on, Harry. You defeated You-Know-Who, surely a broom doesn’t intimidate you,” George said, in mock disappointment.    

    George was rewarded with a glare. Realizing that he wasn’t getting out of this, he kicked off as hard as he could from the ground and soared into the air. He was amazed by how comfortable he felt and thought himself foolish for being afraid just moments ago. He did a quick loop, then turned back to face the direction of the Weasley’s.     Feeling absurdly confident, he flew straight down at the twins, causing them to yelp and dive off to the sides in attempt to avoid a collision. Harry pulled up at the last moment and shot straight up, his broom completely vertical. He felt a rush of ecstasy. He was still amazed by how natural this felt.

    “You can come back down now!” Ginny shouted at a surprising volume for one her size.     

    Harry obeyed and came to a gentle landing that looked and felt practiced, though it was his first time.

    “Wow, Harry,” Fred said with only a hint of joking in his voice, “Took Ron weeks to go more than ten feet up.”

    “Hey!” Ron said indignantly.

    Fred just shrugged in return, then shared a grin with George.

    “Chaser you think?”

    “Definitely. Too bad we haven’t got a snitch, that would’ve been great to see.”

    Harry looked between them, confused, but not wanting to remind them of how little he knew of the wizarding world.

    “We’ve only got four brooms though... two on two with Ginny keeping score?” 

    “But I’m better than Ron!”

    “Hey!” he repeated in the same tone.

    “I am,” she muttered.

    “We’ll just have to play two games then,” George concluded.

    “Okay, let’s go!” Fred shouted as he grabbed a broom. Within seconds, he was soaring towards a field with three rings on hoops on each side. Harry wondered how he had missed those before.

    He leaned over to Ron, “Uh, what am I supposed to do?” he asked with a touch of panic.

    “It’s easy, we have two Bludgers, those fly around and try to knock you off your broom.” Harry visibly paled. “But don’t worry, I’ll do my best to keep ‘em away from you, and mum’s good at healing.” This was little encouragement to Harry who wondered why she had acquired that skill. He tried not to think about it. “Then there is one Quaffle,” Ron continued, “It’s your job to try to get it through one of the hoops on the other side of the pitch. Really, you’re in luck, we don’t have enough people for a keeper.”

    “Is that like a goalie?”

    “What’s a goalie?” Ginny piped up.

    “Never mind. Er, so try to get the ball through the hoop and avoid getting injured.”

    “Yep, that’s about it. Got it?”

    “I think so,” Harry replied, still nervous.

    Together, they flew to where the twins were waiting. Ron came over to Harry and whispered, “Watch out for them, they like to play tricks.”

    He then motioned for Harry to join George in the center of the pitch, while he flew to the goalposts. Ginny strode over, carrying the three balls. On the count of three, she threw them into the the air. The two medium sized ones darted around on their own, and Harry glimpsed Fred ready with a bat and hoped that Ron was too. The larger, softer looking ball seemed to be affected by gravity, unlike the other two. As it just started to fall back to the ground, Harry darted forward and swept it right out from in under George’s reaching fingers. His eyes narrowed. Now it was on. Harry instinctively rolled to the left ad was surprised at how easily that maneuver had been. He didn’t even have time to worry about falling off. When he righted himself, he found George heading for him from the right and a Bludger on his left. He dropped straight down, hoping the two would collide. George swerved just in time, but his moments of correction allowed Harry to glide toward the hoops. Just as he was pulling his arm back to throw, Fred appeared in front of him, trying to block with his arms. Harry feigned a throw, but really swept the ball down and to the right, missing Fred’s broom by inches. He then rolled and tried to repeat his dive from earlier, only this time he had to catch the Quaffle in the process. At the last moment, he prevented it from hitting the ground, pulled out of the dive and tossed it through the ring. 

    Ginny shouted the new score and Harry felt pleasantly flushed with excitement. In the end, they tied with Fred and George, but Harry didn’t mind. Ron told him earnestly that that had been one of the best games they ever played. Harry felt glad that this had come so naturally, perhaps all magic would, he thought, and then people would forget he was raised by muggles.

    After a lunch of cold cut sandwiches and lemonade served by Mrs. Weasley, Harry joined a second match with Ginny on his team. He offered to play beater this time, for he didn’t think she was strong enough at hit the Bludger with enough force. She knew the truth behind the offer and scoffed, but did not protest. As he hefted the bat, he realized that perhaps he wasn’t any stronger than she was. Harry felt this was harder than Chaser because his aim wasn’t very good. After a few narrow misses with Ginny, he decided, he should just try to keep it away from all of the players. He was surprised at Ginny’s skill; she was so light that the broom seemed to move if there was no one on it. Her broom did look like the nicest of the lot, though, so perhaps that was the reason. 

    This time, Harry and Ginny won, though only by a margin of one point. Nevertheless, he was enjoying the success and having a lot of fun. After they introduced Harry to Exploding Snap, a card game in which the cards spontaneously explode (shocking Harry every time), it was time for dinner. Afterward, Harry laid in bed and thought back over his exciting day. He decided that it was easily the best he had ever had.






    The rest of the summer passed quickly for Harry, between casual Quidditch games, wizard chess, chores and learning more about wizards and magic in general. It took much convincing for Mrs. Weasley to relent and allow Harry to do the same amount of chores as the other Weasley’s. He insisted that they were absolutely nothing compared to the Dursley’s and that some of them, like gardening, he even enjoyed doing. Even if he hadn’t enjoyed them, Harry decided that he would do any amount of chores necessary in order to stay at the Burrow. It had been the best summer of his life. 


    During the last week of August, Mrs. Weasley announced a trip to Diagon Alley.

    “We still need to get robes for Ron, here, and new books for all of you. Not to mention all of the things on Ron’s first year list, like a cauldron, oh and a wand of course. Ron, why don’t you go ask Percy if he wouldn’t mind parting with Scabbers? he can be your pet, I don’t think Percy is too fond of him,” Mrs. Weasley rambled. “Anyway, we will leave tomorrow morning, by Floo of course.”

    Harry and Ron sprinted up the stairs to Percy’s room. In truth, Harry almost forgot he was here, for he hardly ever came out of his room. 

    “Hey, Perce?” Ron called.

    A head poked out of the door.

    “What?” he asked impatiently.

    “Mum wants to know if you’ll let me have Scabbers.”

    “Sure, take the filthy thing. I was hoping it would die soon anyway.”

    Ron entered his room and gathered up the tiny rat. As Percy’s door closed behind them, Harry leaned close to get a better look at the rodent. As he did, his bangs fell away from his forehead and brushed Scabbers’ head. He squealed and squirmed, trying to get out of Ron’s grip.

    “Ha, that must’ve tickled him,” Harry laughed lightly. “Come on, we can introduce him to Carmax.”

    Harry started up the steps to Ron’s room.

    “Assuming he doesn’t eat him that is...” Ron grumbled.

    If it was possible for a rat to look more nervous than usual, this one did.

    After Scabbers had been tucked safely away from Carmax in Ron’s room, the rest of the day was spent in inventory. They made numerous lists of what they needed to buy in Diagon Alley. For his part, Harry had done his shopping with Professor Snape and was simply observing the process.

    Mrs. Weasley collected the lists and looked over them all.

    “Tongue-tying treacle? Rhyming Raspberries? I don’t think so.”

    The twins looked crestfallen and Ginny giggled.

    The night passed slowly in anticipation for the outing the next day. This seemed to irritate the others, but Harry wanted to savor every moment of inclusion, for here he felt accepted and though he was excited for Hogwarts, he was also dreading it. He didn’t feel prepared to face strangers who seemed to know more about his life than he did. For the moment, however, he pushed the thought out of his mind and tried to sleep, because the sooner he fell into slumber, the sooner morning would come. 




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